Do You Have Control Issues With Time?
How often do you find yourself saying you will do something when you “find the time?” That may be all right if you’re talking about watching a movie you’ve been looking forward to, but if you’re saying it about things that are crucial to your life and career, you have control issues with time. You’re letting your time control you instead of the other way around.
For example, you need to review patient charts and prepare case presentations. This is an investigative, creative process that is critical to your success as a dentist and it requires the right commitment of time and energy. But how often do those charts pile up on your desk? You can tell yourself you’ll come in early and do them, but that usually means rushing through them. You can take them home at night, but home life has its own noise and obligations so it can be hard to give your work the focus it deserves after hours.
Regardless of what you may think of his politics, I think you’ll agree that former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld made an astute observation when he said: “If you are spending your days working through your inbox, you’re living your life by someone else’s priorities.”
The reality is we all have schedules. And dentists, even more than most people, have professional lives that are driven by them. But that’s all the more reason to make sure you control your calendar in a way that allows you to be the best you can be.
Success, I have often said, is programmed. Successful people don’t try to find time to do the important stuff; they insist on reserving time for the things that make them successful.
Time to work on new case presentations can’t be an afterthought. They are the clinical foundations of your client relationships, and must be a prioritized component in your calendar. Respecting the process of comprehensive diagnosis and treatment planning is simply a non-negotiable part of being a high-caliber dentist.